City, FAA reach agreement on Sky Harbor flight paths

- After years of fighting over a change in flight patterns at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, it appears an agreement has finally been reached between the City of Phoenix and the FAA.

The apparent agreement is a major victory for residents who have long been complaining about all the noise from the planes.

"Pleased as a neighborhood, pleased as a community," said Steve Dreiseszun. "We think this is the appropriate condition."

It's been a long time coming for the neighborhood, but now, the city and the FAA has finally come up with a plan to alleviate residents of frustrations with noisy flights coming over their homes.

"Happens morning, noon and night, into the wee hours," said Dreiseszun.

The flight path has been an issue for residents since 2014, when the FAA decided to change it, citing a congressional mandate meant to make flights safer and more efficient. This, in turn, disturbed the peace of a Downtown phoenix historic neighborhood.

"It's very hard to conduct a quality of life," said Dreiseszun. "It's very hard to have outdoor enjoyment."

They neighbors had no idea when the FAA made the decision, as it was done without any consultation. The city and residents have since fought back hard against the government, filing a lawsuit against the FAA.

In August, a court ruled in favor of the city and neighbors. Now, another victory, as the city and the FAA come to an agreement to rectify the situation.

"Put the routes back," said Deborah Ostricker, Phoenix's Assistant Aviation Director. "Do a public process and go from there. Don't just change the routes without having a public process."

The FAA has since agreed to have public meetings, going forward, as well as taking the flight paths away from the most impacted areas to the west.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has issued a statement on this latest development, saying:

"This agreement will make sure that those most impacted by noise as a result of the 2014 changes will get quicker relief.  It also means that in considering future changes, the faa will abide by the law and follow the public process that our residents deserve."

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